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French back ex-Areva boss to head EADS: report

This undated photo released on June 2008 by European aerospace giant EADS shows a KC-45 refueling tanker from the Royal Australian Air Force refueling an F18 fighter jet from the Spanish air force. The French and German governments favour the former boss of Areva for the top job at European aerospace giant EADS, a newspaper reports

The French and German governments are said to favour the former boss of nuclear group Areva, Anne Lauvergeon, for the job of chairman at European aerospace giant EADS, French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) reported Sunday.

Citing a source close to the government, the weekly said Lauvergeon is "the choice of Francois Hollande for the group's presidency" and that "Germany agrees with France's choice."

Current chairman Arnaud Lagadere is expected to step down in March to focus his industrial and media group Lagadere on media and sports holdings.

Shareholders at EADS, which builds rocket and missile launchers, satellites, fighter aircraft and helicopters as well as owning the plane maker Airbus, will be asked to approve a new chairman and board of directors.

Aside from Lauvergeon, the three other official candidates in line for the top job are former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet and the bosses of construction giant Saint Gobain and electronics and systems group Thales.

Over the weekend the French press also tipped Philippe Camus -- a former executive president at EADS and current boss of French communications services provider Alcatel-Lucent -- as a possible successor to Lagadere.